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Easter Sunday 2012: Tips for a Fabulously Frugal Holiday from Kristen Hagopian

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After the relatively mild winter just gone by, it seems almost too good to be true to have a fabulous Easter Sunday right upon us. Yet here it is, in all of its pastel clothed, candy-covered glory.  Weather permitting, it’s also the perfect holiday to invite friends and family over for the first throw-open-the-windows get-together of the year.  

No air conditioning, no heating needed – what could be better?  Keep the savings going even further with some effortless tricks to keep this Easter fabulous, fun, and fantastically frugal.

(1) Easter Dinner:  For a lot of people, it’s been months since a big celebration when all got together for a fabulous holiday meal; by all means, pull out all the stops.  Ham, turkey, side dishes galore, and don’t even get me started on the desserts, bring it on!  I’m a huge fan of the more-is-more Easter dinner easter dinnertable.   If your menu is deliciously over the top, keep the bills to a marvelous low by assigning everyone a dish to bring. Family & friends are going to want to contribute something fabulous and uniquely their own, and everyone loves to share their specialty, especially for a holiday meal.  Put a sister in charge of sweet potato casserole, put a grill-loving brother in charge of the ham, a best friend gets to handle the desserts.  

Before you know it, you have a beautiful table filled with dishes created by you and the ones you love – a fabulous way to spend the holiday!

(2) Split up the candy duties: if you have a lot of kids involved in this year’s Easter celebrations (say, more than four), put one of your guests (perhaps an aunt or ncle) in charge of the Easter baskets.  Steer them directly to the nearest dollar store, where baskets, fake grass and approximately six tons of fresh Easter candy await them.  For a fun touch, have them stroll down the dollar store toy aisles to find something fun and individual for each child’s taste, or simply attach a helium balloon to each and call it a day.  Keep the costs low and manageable (say $8 per basket, tops), and see where their creativity takes them.   

(3) Clothes and Shoes:  We all want to wear something new and fabulous to celebrate a holiday, and dressing the kids can be special fun too (there’s only so many more years I can dress my 4-year old son in pastel blue and yellow head to foot, the kid looks like he’s going to a yacht club) but that doesn’t mean it has to break the bank!  Hit your local thrift stores and consignment shops for gorgeous (often couture) clothes for every age group. Talbots suits for Mom, perfect princess dresses, Italian suits for Dad, and yes, little miniature yacht club ensembles await you by the truckload for often 75-90% off.  Hit there first for guilt-free additions to your wardrobe that will take you from Easter into the summer and (dare I hope?) a mild autumn to boot.

Happy Easter everyone!

Kristen Hagopian hosts “The Brilliant Frugal Living Show” Tuesdays at 11A on Philadelphia’s WFYL 1180AM.  Her next Brilliant Frugal Living Conference is October 22nd in West Chester, with $5 of every ticket sold being donated to the Chester County Food Bank to assist families in need.  Log onto www.BrilliantFrugalLiving.com for more information!

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